All About Tech Neck
Cervical kyphosis, commonly referred to as tech neck, is common to people in today’s society due to crouching over staring into the screens of electronic devices. When bending the neck forward to look down at something such as a tablet or smartphone, the spine is strained, causing tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Technology has become a cumbersome influence on our daily lives as the newest smartphones and laptops as they are released are taken off the shelves in minutes. Over a few years of time, sitting hunched over looking at these small screens from two feet away has caused people to have tech neck, and many do not realize it as they have not heard of this condition. The strain of leaning closer into the screen is like adding 10 pound bricks for every 10 degrees. This condition causes detrimental effects to the human body over time as one is adding massive amounts of weight to the spinal cord, causing headaches, herniated discs, neck sprains comparable to that of whiplash, and even a seemingly permanent hunched-back. Tech neck can be improved through raising the height of the screen, sitting in a chair with arm and head rests, stretching, setting screen-time time-limits, looking forward, and exercising.
Yanni, B. June 4, 2019. All About Tech Neck. New Jersey. Spine Institute of North America
Just a test: https://spineina.com/blog/all-about-tech-neck/
Research progress About the Effect and Prevention of Blue Light on Eyes
Technology screens have become an omnipresent sight in the eyes of society, triggering concerns about health. One particular feature of technology that is causing health issues is blue light emission. This light might not be harmful if exposed to for short periods of time, but members of society tend to stare at electronic devices for much longer than is healthy. For example, students and office workers tend to be on their computers for at least six-eight hours per day. This means constant blue light exposure, which means having watery and pained eyes more and more from the eye muscles straining and aching. And Covid-19 exacerbated screen-time usage because of online schooling and remote working. Research shows that reading from a screen can lead to poor eyesight particularly in school children whose eyes are still growing, and that an increase in screen time correlates with increased nearsightedness. It causes irreversible photochemical retinal damage; blue light has a short wavelength, causing the focus to be in the front of the retina (not the center), meaning that long exposure causes visual fatigue and nearsightedness as shared. Furthermore, blue light is known to affect the cornea, the lens, the retina, refractive development, and the circadian rhythm. A study actually showed that sleep orders are closely related to visual impairment, so sleep quality and eye diseases can be related. Many studies have shown that the blue tends to regulate the body clock and promote alertness, but in excess it can stimulate the brain and prevent melatonin secretion. Ultimately, excessive bluelight is the host of a variety of health issues in the human body.
Zhao, Z. Zhou, Y. Tan, G. Li, J. November 12, 2018. Research Progress About The Effect And Prevention of Blue Light On Eyes. China. NCBI
Parents in China Laud Rule Limiting Video Game For Kids.
The people in the Chinese government are starting to notice that too much screen usage is bad for their citizens. The way that is trying to resolve this issue is by imposing restrictions on game time for children. These restrictions that are imposed include, “ [banning] children from gaming overnight and [limiting] them to 90 minutes most weekdays.” This may seem intense but the government feels that children tend to be extremely attracted to video games and not learning to socialize. The way that the Chinese government is moving forward with this is by gaining support for technology companies. The companies are creating devices that are able to scan peoples faces and keep track of the amount of time the person has been playing video games. Tracking the time will create the limitations and cause the children to find alternatives that are away from the screens. These limitations will allow for less exposure of the blue light which is being emitted from the screens which the government has to notice the consequences of. This is one of the first countries to come to notice the devastating effects of too much screen usage.
Soo, Z. September 20, 2021. Parents in China Laud Rule Limiting Video Game For Kids. Shanghai, China. AP News
Nightly Use of Computers By Adolescents
A study was conducted in Brazil to analyze the impact of nocturnal computer usage in adolescents and its effect on sleep quality. Two middle schools were part of the study, and the sample consisted of 160 students between ages 15 and 18. Researchers concluded that light from the computer impacts a person’s production of melatonin, which delays sleep and affects the overall sleep pattern; looking at a computer until late hours of the night leads to a delay or transfer of sleep from night to daytime, causing ongoing sleep deprivation. The study found that girls were on the computer late at night more than boys, who were instead up late surfing the web or playing computer/video games. Both types of screen usage is associated with sleep delay/deprivation. Technology (and their screens) is so powerful that the students, and people in our society in general, are not necessarily paying attention to the fact that it might be three o’clock in the morning and they have class to go to in about five hours. While staying up late on technology has become a social norm, the issue is that this sleep deprivation affects peoples’ concentration levels, which can lead to a decrease in grades, participation, and overall productivity. The dangers of technology are upon us and we may not even notice the health issues that may occur from it; before going to bed, think twice about watching a movie on Netflix.
Mesquita, G. Reimao, R, March 10, 2007. Nightly Use Of Computers By Adolescents. São Paulo Sp, Brazil. Sceio.
Low Physical and High Screen Time Can Increase the Risk of Mental Health Problems and Poor Sleep Quality among Chinese College Students
A study was conducted in China to see what would occur if a person has low physical activity and high screen time. Six schools were chosen at random, with students ranging from first to third year students in university, the goal being to see how long screen time would affect their psychological and physical self. Researchers concluded that more screen time leads to poor sleep quality and poor mental health amongst college students. Between male and female participants, it was determined that the average female college student deals with poor sleep quality, anxiety and depression at a higher rate compared to the average male college student. Furthermore, the results of the study suggest that high screentime and low physical activity increase the risk of psychological problems in college students, one reason being that screen-time takes away from time that could have been used for physical activity. Screen-time was also found to be correlated with increased metabolic risk, which is associated with poor mental health, and this could represent a link between screen-time and mental health itself. This means that it is critical for members of society to increase physical activity and decrease screen time in order to improve mental health as well as sleep habits.
Wu, X. Tao, S. Zhang, Y. Zhang, S. Tao, F. March 18, 2015. Low Physical Activity and High Screen Time Can Increase the Risk of Mental Health Problems and Poor Sleep Quality among Chinese College Students. San Francisco, California. Plos One.
Here’s How Technology Affects Our Life
Everyday before you go to bed you might say to yourself, “I’ll go to sleep in five more minutes,” but thirty minutes later, you’re still scrolling through your phone. Technological devices are so powerful that we constantly gravitate towards them, leading to tons of negative effects on the human mind and body. For example, human physiology has been altered as technology affects our attention spans, sleep cycles, and memory because of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change behaviors). In addition to depression, substance abuse, and addiction, technology causes “FOMO” (fear of missing out) as we see status updates and photographs uploaded by peers on social media. This probably plays a role in the growing youth depression rate. Psychologists also note that people experience “phantom vibration syndrome,” as physical sensations are becoming misinterpreted by the brain as a vibration from a phone because we use them so often. So even when your phone is not vibrating, your brain may stimulate and think otherwise and will cause you to look at it for no reason whatsoever. Moreover, technology causes “popcorn brain,” because of all of the fast-paced information popping up on our phones left and right, yielding short attention spans, too. All of these are consequences of technology, affecting our lives each and every day.
January 14, 2018. Here’s How Technology Affects Our Life. Mumbai, India. Economic Times
Blue Light and Your Eyes
Blue light may seem to be unavoidable as it is all around us naturally and artificially. Bluelight can be found in its natural state from the sun as we know blue is one of the colors on the visible spectrum scale. The artificial blue light which is visible to us is what has an effect on our eyes and specifically the retina portion of the eye. According to research they have found that “Almost all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. This light may affect vision and could prematurely age the eyes.” All the parts are very important but the part of the eye that should not be exposed to light is a strong blue light. The blue light that is exposed from the technology devices is not meant for our eyes to be exposed to for long period of time as the blue light signal the brain to stay awake and alert. The researchers we able to find that the retina cells that make up the retina portion of the eye are being destroyed by the exposer of the artificial blue light which in the long term means detrimental consequences.
Blue Light and Your Eyes. Illinois. Prevent Blindness
Influence of Blue Light on Photoreceptors in a Live Retinal Explant System
In a study conducted by the NCBI, “Influence of blue light on photoreceptors in a live retinal explant system” had discover that “…blue light can trigger intracellular ROS production and apoptosis in different retinal cell lines.” The blue light that our eyes are used is the man made blue light from the sun. The bluelight that was being tested was the one that is artificially exposed in front of our eyes from technological devices. The bluelight that is from the technology devices goes throught the front and the middle of the eye and exposes the back of the eye which is called the Retina. The front and the back of the eye are form of protection as they are layers that are allowed to be exposed to light while the retina should be exposed to harmful types of light like the blue light from our screen. Throughout the study the researchers were able to find that “ prolonged blue light exposure caused cell death in the ONL of retinal explants.” The retina is made up of cells and the blue light that is being exposed into that part of the eye is killing the cells. This is devatating because the retina is what helps with vision and with out the health of the retina there will be difficulty seeing clearly.
Roehlecke, C. Schumann, U. Ader, M. Knels, L. Funk R. April 8, 2011. Influence of Blue Light on Photoreceptors in a Live Retianl Explant System. China. NCBI
Blue Light: What Is It and How Does It Affect Your Sleep?
As we all know blue light is all around us as technology reliability increases. Researchers have found that blue light is part of the color spectrum that has the shortest wavelength but the most energy. The more energy that is being converted from the light through our eyes into the brain is affecting the time clock which is called the circadian rhythm. They have found that our brains are mechanized to where we can absorb blue light during the day but at night any blue light emission tricks the brain with the signal to wake up. Researchers have found that those that read ebooks before going to bed had experienced more sleep disturbances than those the traditional paper books. The researchers have found that compared to all the other colors light blue light has the most effect on the production of melatonin in the brain. This is an issue as melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the human body and is a signal when it’s time to go to sleep. Interestingly enough exposure to blue light during the day isn’t as harmful when it is formed as natural. The natural form of blue light can be provided by sunlight. The smart devices’ blue light is artificial which means that our bodies are not happy to be around them.
Chai, C. July 12, 2021. Blue Light: What Is It and How Does It Affect Your Sleep?.New York. Everyday Health.
Why you should use dark mode on the iPhone
The phones and laptops are unavoidable before going to sleep after a long day at school or work. We tend to like to catch up on what has been occurring throughout the day and could lead you not to notice that it has been forty five minutes since you have got on. This is the same when we are in bed and are having bright screens right in front of us causing our eyes to strain and making us stay up longer at night. There is a solution to this which is called night mode which is a feature that is found in the setting on the iphone. The night mode switches the background to darker color in the background and lighter text. This causes less light being emitted because of the bright light which is mainly on the background of the apps on the phone. The dark mode allows for less blue light emission from the screens which allows for better sleep. The dark mode allows for the brain to not be over stimulated with the blue light which affects the circadian rhythm and sleeping patterns.
Caprito, A. June 3, 2019. Why you should use dark mode on the iPhone. CNET
Screen time and sleep: children and teenagers
As we know children in today’s world are attached to their smart devices. They spend multiple hours a day on these screens from sources like Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat and many more. This usage of the apps are commonly used throughout the day but the most prominent time is at night. The night time when they are off school and work where they have been exposed to a computer screen for over six to eight hours are being exposed to more blue light. The issue is that children are required to get a significant amount of sleep to be able to properly function the next day. Teenagers are suggested to get around eight to ten hours of sleep a night. Teens are always up till midnight and then are cranky in the morning not getting the understanding that they are not getting enough sleep. The best solution to get a well rested sleep and feel refreshed in the morning is to “Avoid screen use in the hour before bedtime. This includes mobile phones, tablets, computer screens and TV. Encourage reading or quiet play instead.” This allows for your brain to start to be relaxed and not have to deal with stimulation of the lights from the phone or tv.
Screen time and sleep: children and teenagers. Australia. Raising Children
Why dark mode isn’t actually better for your eyes
People have heard of the option that is on their phone but don’t understand the point of it and therefore ignore it. The point of the dark mode option which is an option that can be found on every iPhone is that when the sun comes down that background turns dark and makes the text white. People think it is just another useless option on the iPhone to make it more advanced. This is because the contrast of the black background at night is helpful to the eye and emits less bluelight at that time. If there is less emission of bluelight that means that there will be less interruption on the circadian rhythm and the production of melatonin before the time people are going to sleep. This will allow people to fall asleep quicker and have a more well rested sleep with no interruptions and allows the brain to become more well rested.
Laderer, A. January 22, 2021. Why dark mode isn’t actually better for your eyes. New York. Insider
Working Hypothesis 1
Setting screen time limitations will benefit students’ sleeping patterns
Working Hypothesis 2
Decreasing the screen time in a classroom setting would benefit students’ sleeping patterns.
Topics for Small Papers
- Technology affecting sleeping patterns
- Companies and schools limiting the amount of screen time per day
- Benefits of technology which causes the increase of screen time
During the time of researching my hypothesis, I have learned a lot of information that I was not aware of. During the process of looking for the sources that I felt were the best to prove my hypothesis, I was able to solidify good information that will be stated in my small papers. The progress that I have made so far on the white paper is surprising because I was able to find a lot of information and got a better understanding of what I will be writing about. The outcome of my research was that there are various effects when having too much screen time which is why felt is important to show that the time should be decreased.
Hi Professor, One of the links was not working when I was posting it on the blog so I just made it a tiny URL. Is that fine?
I love tinyurl (and 3ly, and bit.ly). In fact, we’ll be practicing link shorteners in class tomorrow. But, just as a test, I followed your tinyurl, then copied and pasted the link to Tech Neck, which worked fine.
Your paper so far reminds me of the woman who couldn’t lose weight because she was drinking too much beer every day. She finally found the willpower to drop 30 pounds but died from liver disease because instead of abstaining from alcohol, she completely cut solid food and all nutrition from her diet and lived just on less-fattening vodka until the day she dropped dead.
Don’t see the connection?
Your sources mostly indicate that students are staying up into the wee hours of the morning gorging on screen time, gorging on melatonin, and presumably sleepwalking through their days bleary-eyed and brain-fogged. Your solution is to reduce the MOST PRODUCTIVE USE OF SCREEN TIME, during the instructional school day, instead of somehow finding ways to limit their extracurricular screen use.
You’re massing good sources and describing them well, Devils, but this reader can’t get past the obvious problem that you appear willing to drown the babies in the bathwater. Your response?
I agree that this may be a bit confusing but the schools require students to use technology outside of the classroom which is even more exposure to the screen time. Also, I was planning on changing my hypothesis so that it would work better with the route that I am going towards. The proposed hypothesis is setting screen time limitations will benefit students’ sleeping patterns. Would this work better based on the sources and the summaries that are in my white paper so far?
Of course. Let’s be clear about the purpose of a persuasive essay. You’re not responsible to solve a complex social problem whose solution is beyond everyone else’s control. It’s perfectly reasonable to identify an issue that is mostly unnoticed by others if for no other reason than to point out that it deserves recognition.
In your case, there may be enough awareness of the problems of screen over-saturation that you can’t get away with JUST pointing out the problem.
But you COULD offer a careful analysis, including refutation, of proposed solutions. My observation of what you’ve gathered so far is that the evidence you’re finding indicts extra-curricular screen use as a villain at least as blameworthy as instructional use. If we want to cut down on one, you could argue, which one would we want to reduce? (But of course you wouldn’t phrase it as a Rhetorical Question 🙂 ).
AND, if we can’t keep kids off their screens, then at least we should be instructing them in school, as part of the curriculum, in ways to mitigate the hazards of long exposure.